Those interested in a career as an administrative assistant can consider pursuing a certificate or associate's degree; courses common to both certificate and associate's degree administrative assistant programs generally include basic accounting, keyboarding, desktop publishing, office administration and records management. However, students in an associate's degree program typically are required to take more core office management and business courses, as well as completing general education classes.
Schools with Administrative Assistant Programs
Administrative assistant programs are offered at the institutions listed here.
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Degrees Offered||Tuition (2015-2016)*|
|City College of San Francisco||San Francisco, CA||2-year, Public||Certificate||In-state $1,598; Out-of-state $7,554|
|American River College||Sacramento, CA||2-year, Public||Associate's||In-state $1,104; Out-of-state $7,440|
|Santa Monica College||Santa Monica, CA||2-year, Public||Certificate||In-state $1,136; Out-of-state $8,078|
|Salt Lake Community College||Salt Lake City, UT||2-year, Public||Certificate||In-state $3,569; Out-of-state $11,337|
|El Camino Community College District||Torrance, CA||2-year, Public||Certificate, Associate's||In-state $1,142; Out-of-state $5,678|
|Portland Community College||Portland, OR||2-year, Public||Certificate, Associate's||In-state $3,766; Out-of-state $8,374|
|Santa Ana College||Santa Ana, CA||2-year, Public||Certificate, Associate's||In-state $1,142; Out-of-state $6,902|
|Santa Rosa Junior College||Santa Rosa, CA||2-year, Public||Certificate||In-state $1,318; Out-of-state $6,637|
Sources: *National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)
School Selection Criteria
There are some key things to consider when looking for administrative assistant schools.
- Aspiring administrative assistants must first decide whether to enroll in a certificate or associate's degree program in office management.
- Look for community colleges and vocational schools that accommodate students with family and work commitments by offering courses on the weekends or at night or by offering distance learning.
- Some colleges offer specializations, such as legal administrative assistant or medical administrative assistant, which may be of interest to students considering entering those fields.
- Most public colleges offer tuition discounts to local or in-state students, which may influence the choice of which college to attend.
There are a number of colleges that offer administrative assistant programs. Students can choose between pursuing a certificate or associate's degree, and complete studies in one to two years.